Monday, February 12, 2007

Australian Couples Breaking Surrogacy Laws

Infertile couples desperate for children are risking their health and breaking the law by using home insemination kits.

Members-only websites link would-be parents with egg donors and surrogates, News Ltd newspapers report.

An increasing number of couples were breaking Australia's strict and complex surrogacy laws, according to the managers of Aussie Egg Donors, an online service and support group.

Co-director Rachel Kunde said differences in the law between states were forcing couple to use DIY insemination methods.

"In some cases people get really desperate ... home insemination happens a lot, I know of at least a dozen surrogates who have done it that way," Ms Kunde told News Limited.

Recent high-profile surrogacy cases have boosted the number of Australian couples willing to break the law, according to an NSW group.

The director of the group, described only as "Cindy", described her network as like "a secret society" and that there were "always ways around laws".

Sandra Dill, executive director of infertility consumer group Access Australia, said DIY surrogacy carried health risks.

There are no surrogacy laws in NSW, Western Australia nor the Northern Territory but in Queensland all surrogacy arrangements are illegal.

In Tasmania it is an offence to make or receive payments while surrogacy agreements have no legal status.

In South Australia, couples are not allowed to enter into a surrogacy contract, while in Victoria it is all but illegal.

© 2007 AAP

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